TEN YEARS AFTER: WWE Friday Night Smackdown (05.11.07)

WWE: Friday Night Smackdown
May 11, 2007
Pittsburgh, PA
Mellon Arena

The current Smackdown champions are as follows:
World Heavyweight Champion: The Undertaker (4/2/2007)
WWE United States Champion: Chris Benoit (10/13/2006)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Deuce N Domino (4/20/2007)
WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Chavo Guerrero (2/18/2007)

Read along if you have the WWE Network!

Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

  • Chris Benoit & Matt Hardy vs. MVP & Finlay

Cole explains what happened with Mr. Kennedy over the weekend and at RAW where he lost the MITB briefcase to Edge. Benoit and Finlay get super aggressive with a tie-up to start. Benoit pops Finlay in the eye to stop a wristlock as Finlay tags out. You have to hand it to MVP not backing down and wanting a piece of Benoit. MVP is caught in a Crippler Crossface attempt early though, but makes the ropes. The good guys maintain control quite nicely for a little while. Finlay sidesteps a baseball slide from Benoit, but takes a Snap Suplex on the floor. Hornswoggle sneaks out from under the apron to give Finlay some encouragement as we go to break. When we come back, Finlay is still in trouble as Benoit gives him a back suplex. In comes Hardy, he delivers the corner clothesline followed by the running bulldog. Finlay forces Hardy back into the heel corner for a tag. Matt hits a Side Effect out of nowhere on MVP. He delivers a flying elbow on the back of MVP’s head for another two-count. Hardy continues his offensive stretch with a flying moonsault, but hits his knee hard on the canvas for two. MVP shoves a headlock off into the ropes and just barrel rolls into Hardy’s knees. Awesome. Even as MVP covers Matt for a two-count, he twists on the leg for added pain and agony. I love the effort! Here comes Finlay to ravage the knee with a half crab followed by an Indian Deathlock. Now Finlay and MVP should be the tag champs of Smackdown instead of Lenny and Squiggy. Hardy comes back on MVP with the desperate enziguri and hot tags Benoit. There’s a Hat Trick of Germans for Finlay, but the Swandive Headbutt misses. Finlay reaches MVP for a tag who kicks at Benoit, but Benoit catches the kick and jackknife covers MVP for the three-count out of nowhere. (9:58 shown) I know it seemed random, but it makes sense once they inform us that Chris Benoit will defend his U.S. title against MVP in a 2/3 falls match to put over that he can beat MVP just like *that*. ***

  • Michelle McCool vs. Jillian Hall

McCool saves us from another week of Jillian and her singing. Lot of heel offense from Jillian – like choking and angrily bending McCool in different positions. You can make your own joke there. Jillian does a cartwheel and lands on Michelle for two. McCool comes back and hits a BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX, but only gets two. She’s no Magnum TA. Jillian hits a handspring back elbow in the corner, but then charges into a backbreaker for the win. (3:43) Are we supposed to like Michelle McCool? I can appreciate her stopping Jillian Hall from singing, but otherwise she’s just not very unlikeable. If she’s going to remain our Diva savior on Smackdown, she needs better theme music too because her music is just talking about how nobody is ever good enough for her. It’s just terrible! ¾*

Elsewhere, Kristal is massaging her man Teddy Long’s shoulders trying to find out if he’s found himself an assistant yet when two rednecks from West Virginia looking to have themselves some fisticuffs – I mean, ‘rassle some people here tonight. Apparently, Teddy has been waiting for these two lovely fellows. You will come to know them as Jesse and Festus Dalton. If they can make it to Baltimore next week in their pick-em-up truck, they can have themselves a match. Now back to Kristal, she recommends Vickie Guerrero as his assistant. Kristal tries to cater to Teddy’s softer side saying she and Vickie are best friends and then pleads Vickie’s case saying that she’s a widow and a single mom now. Teddy says he loves Kristal and can’t imagine what he would do if he lost her. With that said, Teddy agrees to give Vickie an interview.

Ashley joins us via satellite from WWE HQ. Her foot is all better and she wants to come back and beat up Jillian Hall. She was really disappointed when her pals London and Kendrick lost the WWE tag belts, but she feels they will be back on top in no time. They have even encouraged her to get out and make it on her own, which sounds like we won’t see her in their corner anymore.

  • Paul London (w/Brian Kendrick) vs. Domino (w/Deuce)

This is the first match back for London since the title loss. London is super aggressive to start. Domino kicks him in the ribs to slow him down, but London dropkicks Domino to the floor anyways. London tries that same moonsault spot off the apron. When Domino moves, London lands on his feet to show he’s learned his lesson, I suppose. They took what could have been a cool moment and just threw it away. Back in, it appears they messed up a spot as London slingshots in the ring. London escapes a cobra clutch and starts getting quick nearfalls. He hits Domino with a flapjack and continues with an inverted atomic drop followed by a standing hurracanrana. Deuce distracts London on the apron, but he DROPSAULTS off Deuce and lands on Domino for the win. (4:08) Why have your tag champs job in singles matches two weeks in a row? None of this makes any sense. ¾*

Is Snitsky coming to Smackdown? Because it looks like it.

WWE SLAM OF THE WEEK (brought to you by Just for Men): Smackdown, 5/4/07. William Regal drilling Kane with the POWER OF THE PUNCH to help MVP win last week.

  • Kane (w/the Boogeyman & Little Boogey) vs. Dave Taylor (w/William Regal)

Regal is pissed about a cut above his lip apparently Kane is responsible for giving him. Either that or Kane gave him herpes. Taylor concentrates on the arm that was worked on last week by MVP, but Kane powers out and gives him a Side Slam. As he goes up for the Flying Clothesline, Regal hops up on apron only for Little Boogey to pull him down. Boogeyman takes out Regal as Kane hits the Flying Clothesline on Taylor and finishes him off with the CHOKESLAM. (AUSTIN 3:16) Afterwards, Kane hangs out with the Boogeys while he freaks them out setting the corners on fire. ½*

Although I haven’t been mentioning it, they have done a great job building to the Taker-Batista cage match here tonight as they have given us highlight reel after highlight reel covering their feud.

  • Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker (c) vs. Batista

Batista’s right hamstring is heavily taped for this one. He’s getting booed here. Taker’s right bicep is heavily taped as well. He’s getting CHEERED. For those in the know, Taker has torn his right bicep and had planned to be out of action for 6-8 months following this match. Of course, he’s back in just four months. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE TITLE? We’re about to find out. They trade fisticuffs to start. Taker boots down Bats and starts kicking the injured hamstring. Batista avoids an elbow drop with the bad arm and short-arm clotheslines Taker for two. He goes for a DEMON BOMB way too quick and Taker hammers on the hamstring. Har har har. Bats fights off a superplex and delivers the flying shoulder tackle for two. As Batista goes for the door, Taker clips him from behind. Commercials! When we come back, Batista stops Taker from climbing out and low blows him to take control. When Batista tries to climb out, Taker punches him in the balls who then proceeds to crotch himself on the top rope. Taker boots Batista’s face into the cage for two. Double-KO ensues. Commercials! When we return, Bats wins a slugfest only for Taker to go back to the leg. HERE COMES TAKER! He avalanches Bats and delivers Snake Eyes to lead into the big boot. There’s the Chokeslam, but Taker is so exhausted. He finally covers Batista for 1-2-NO! Bats however slips out of the Tombstone and throws Taker into the cage splitting his head wide open! Commercials! Bats is shown running Taker into the cage again and then gives him a Spinebuster for 1-2-NO! Batista then takes UT over to the corner for the ten-count punch, but Taker counters with the LAST RIDE. Boy, Taker is bleeding like crazy. Slow cover gets 1-2-NO! After Bats stops Taker at the door, Taker decides he needs a SUPER CHOKESLAM to win. Batista ends up punching Taker down and starts to head out. ZOMBIE SIT-UP~! Taker gets a burst of energy and climbs out, but Batista reaches the floor at the same time declaring this match a draw. (16:05 shown) Good match as always from these two. I liked that there was BLOOD here. After the cage raises, MARK HENRY returns to destroy the Undertaker leaving him for dead (even though he’s already dead, right?). Anyways, being the ultimate opportunist, out comes EDGE to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase: EDGE. ***

  • World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker (c) vs. Edge

Edge jumps on Taker for 1-2-NO! He tries again. Same result. A bloodied Taker can’t sit up though so that’s a good sign for Edge. As he uses the ropes to stand up, he staggers around into the SPEAR for the three-count to give Edge the world title. (1:23) Hey, Edge knows how to celebrate a world title victory. And just like that, the whole Smackdown show has changed. When he’s back up the ramp, Edge comes back and wallops Taker with the briefcase just for the fun of it. N/R

I wouldn’t bother too much with the opener although it is good, but the cage match and aftermath is some real awesome stuff. I feel like this cage match has been pretty much forgotten over time as part of the UT-Batista trilogy. People only seem to remember the two big PPV matches and that’s understandable, I suppose. I just wonder how this would have all gone with Mr. Kennedy getting the spot here instead of Edge. How different would Edge’s career have been?

MORE 2007 SMACKDOWN IS COMING. Until then, so long for now.

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